Water Balance and Chemistry

How To Test Swimming Pool Water

Water Chemistry is a term used to talk about all the different chemical products available to the swimming pool industry. How chlorine kills bacteria and sanitizes the water as well as the discussion of acids and pH levels is considered chemistry. Water Balance is a state when these levels of chemicals are safe to swim in. When a level is "out of balance", we have to use chemistry to return the water to safe conditions.


This is a measurement from 0-14 of how acidic or alkaline (basic) your water is. The proper pH range for a swimming pool is 7.2-7.8. The lower the number, the more acidic the water is which will corrode metal and equipment, cloud the water, and cause swimmer irritation. Readings above 7.8 will cloud the water and cause swimmer irritation as well as increase the risk for algae, scale, and filtration problems. The ability of chlorine to sanitize the water is affected when pH is out of proper balance.

Total Alkalinity

This is a reading that is important because it shows how stable the pH level is. The Total Alkalinity keeps the pH level from fluctuating all the time and depending on your type of pool and what part of the country you live in, the reading should be between 80-150ppm.

Total or Calcium Hardness

This reading determines how "hard" your water is due to calcium and other minerals. The reading range should be between 200-400ppm. You can add chemicals to make your water harder, but not if the reading is too high, you would need to drain water out of your pool

Free Available Chlorine

This is an important reading because it shows the amount of chlorine that is available to clean and sanitize the water. The range should be between 1.0-3.0ppm.

Combined Chlorine

This refers to chlorine molecules that have attached to some kind of containment such as soap, ammonia, or another organic compound. High levels of combined chlorine can cause a foul odor, and you should shock the pool if you have a level above 0.2ppm.

Total Chlorine

The amount of "Free Available Chlorine" + "Combined Chlorine"

Total Dissolved Solids

This measurement shows us the amount of dissolved solids such as dirt, waste, chemicals, etc in the water. This reading should not exceed 1500ppm; if it does, you need to drain water and add fresh water to the pool.

Cyanuric Acid or Stabilizer

UV rays cause the effectiveness of chlorine to fall rapidly. Cyanuric acid helps prevent this from happening. A good level for this is 50ppm.

All Products ship for free. No Order Handling Fee. The Price You See Is The Delivered Price In The 48 States.

Signup for Coupons and newsletters via e-mail
* indicates required

Mega Pool and Spa is UpFront